I am an impassioned educator, dedicated to an inclusive and fun experience that enlightens and inspires students and teachers alike.
My teaching draws on my real world experiences as a performer in the jazz “Mecca” of NYC and abroad. My goal is to de-mystify the art of playing jazz, offering practical solutions that yield immediate results.
I am available for clinics, workshops and master classes at all educational levels, as well as for high school and university ensemble collaborations.
I've developed a variety of highly effective techniques for training jazz musicians on all instruments, and I'd love to work with you!
In addition to lectures on jazz theory, harmony, history and ensemble coaching, here are a few signature workshops I offer:
Rhythm Will Set You Free
This workshop focuses on the importance of rhythmic control in jazz improvisation. Through innovative metronome exercises, recorded examples and ensemble coaching, we work on the numerous ways that internalization of the pulse facilitates an increased ability to navigate chord changes.
The Three Elements
In this workshop, we slow down the process of improvising to break down it’s core elements: the intellectual, aural and digital. After a discussion on how and why these are the main areas involved in playing, we can focus our practice time on the most critical areas stemming from the three elements.
Rules of Thumb
This workshop directly draws from my experiences on the bandstand with jazz masters. We’ll explore 20 practical “rules of thumb” that can be applied to all elements of playing jazz, especially when faced with real time challenges on the bandstand.
Understanding the Lifespan of your Album release (College Level)
In 2015 I released my first album, HOME. It was a massive endeavor, and this workshop illustrates all the things I wished someone had told me in the process of releasing the album. It also lays out the basic arc of any album release, from initial conception, fundraising, to CD release shows and beyond.
SKYPE/IN PERSON LESSONS
My teaching is applicable to any instrument (For bassists of course, in depth technical work is extensive).
For all players, these are a few of the core areas I cover:
- Note Choice and Creating lines
Pocket refers to timekeeping, groove, and rhythm in general. When something is played with great rhythm, we say it’s “in the pocket”. It’s the most important thing in jazz, and all great musicians play in the pocket. It’s what makes something swing. I like to tell students “rhythm sets you free”-that control of rhythm, developing an internal metronome, helps melodic/harmonic ideas to flow more freely. I will show you some powerful techniques for optimizing your rhythmic practice time.
Note Choice is extremely important for the bassist in building bass lines. We will transcribe bass lines of the masters and study the elements that make the lines strong. I will show you rules of thumb for building your own bass lines.
Note choice is equally important for non-bassists, as it is the main component of strong melodies and lines.
Ear training cannot be stressed enough. The old adage “Hear what you play, Play what you hear” is really about reacting, whether to a chord symbol, accompanist, or melodic idea passing through your head. A strong ear allows you to decrease this reaction time. I will show you how to develop your ear.
Sound is probably the first thing we notice about a player, and it resonates deeply within us.
Phrasing is the art of using space in a solo. In the same way that our speech requires breathing, a solo breathes through the artful manipulation of space. We’ll work on developing different types of phrasing.
Feel, an essential characteristic of jazz, is difficult to describe. I’d say its a combination of things, but most importantly refers to a musician’s rhythmic sensibility. It’s the attitude of your groove-your unique swagger. It’s how someone’s use of rhythm feels to you. It’s difficult to teach since it’s so unique to a particular artist, but I believe it is possible. We’ll distill the lessons of musicians with exemplary feels.
It helps to develop all of these things by learning repertoire, and by having a specific goal in mind. Well create goals together as milestones on our pedagogical journey together.
EDUCATIONAL BOOKINGS: Inquire Here.